Editor’s Note: For 20 days in April, the Deseret News will profile 20 elite high school athletes from the 2020 graduating class and how they’re coping with the premature end of senior life on and off the field.
SALT LAKE CITY — The mood at Judge’s soccer practice couldn’t have been higher. Five starters were finally back on the training field after missing the first three preseason games with either injury or club commitments, and everyone was having a blast.
It was Thursday, March 12, and the team couldn’t wait to be back at full strength for the next day’s game against Rowland Hall.
“The energy at practice that day was super, super high. We were all excited super excited,” said Judge senior Jack Terrill.
The good vibes were about to come crashing down. After practice, Judge coach Kelly Terrill informed his players the season was being suspended for two weeks, and likely longer.
“We went from the best emotions to the worst feeling,” said Jack Terrill.
That feeling is shared be every spring sports athlete in Utah who’s coping with the suspension of high school sports. There’s a slim chance the season resumes again in May, and that prospect is what’s keeping Terrill and all his Judge teammates going amid the many inconveniences.
“I’ve been texting the team making sure everyone is staying focused, doing the exercises. I’ve just been making sure all the players are staying in contact with each other and we all do the right things so if we get the chance to play again we can win,” said Terrill.
Judge is the two-time defending 3A state champs, and was the favorite again coming into this season. For Terrill, team success is always the primary goal, but individually he came into the season with an opportunity to chase the state record book as well.
In his freshman, sophomore and junior season Terrill scored a combined 61 goals — including 29 during his junior season in which he was named the Deseret News 3A MVP. With 33 goals this season he would’ve tied the state record of 94 career goals set by Springville’s Jon Bailey from 1987 to 1990.
“In the end it doesn’t matter that much to me, because it’s all about the wins and state championships as a team, so I’m more bummed the fact that we had a great team this year and we think we were going to a three-peat and we’ve been cut short so far,” said Terrill.
In Judge’s three preseason games before high school sports were suspended Terrell scored three goals, putting him slightly behind his desired 30-goal pace.
As frustrating as being relegated to solo soccer in his backyard has been, Terrill had an exciting distraction on Monday as he signed his letter of intent to play soccer at Dixie State.
The offer had been on the table for about a year, but after considering all his options he believes playing for Jonny Broadhead at Dixie State is his best fit.
“He’s the kind of coach I want to be with, I have a good relationship with him and I think it will work well down there,” said Terrill. “Thinking about playing college soccer gives me excitement, and with everything going on right now excitement is not what I’m getting.”
In the meantime he’ll continue putting in the work in hopes of a few more exciting games with his high school teammates as they chase a three-peat.